Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero; EAFocus Communications; 248.260.8466;

Fort Myers, Fla. —September 19, 2022 —Following the announcement this afternoon that the FAA was denying Republic Airlines request to be exempted from ATP hours requirements, Captain Lee Collins, Senior VP of Industry and Government Affairs for Florida-based Paragon Flight Training, offered the following comments:

“We are pleased with the FAA‘s announcement earlier today not to grant the exemption requested by Republic Airlines last spring to reduce pilot training qualifications in this country.

As a flight training organization, we have been solidly behind a better, blended solution for the industry, one that takes into account the entire issue of pilot production and throughput and enhances it from start to finish. We believe it is time to abandon the 10-year-old debate on flight hours and turn our attention to systemic improvements that can have an immediate, measurable impact on our ability to produce the world’s best pilots efficiently and quickly – while simultaneously maintaining quality and technological improvements in support of those goals,” Collins said.

Collins was actively engaged in educating legislators, regulators and industry officials, including the FAA, in recent months about the dangers of reducing flight training hours. Paragon Flight Training President and owner Chris Schoensee also blogged on the topic in May 2022.

About Paragon Flight Training
Paragon Flight is an award-winning flight academy headquartered at Page Field in Fort Myers, Florida. With FAA and SEVIS accreditations, a fleet of 20 aircraft, and advanced simulator technology onsite, the company trains commercial, professional, and recreational pilots as well as offering military pilot training for domestic and foreign governments. The company is in the process of a 28,000-combined-square-foot expansion slated for completion in 2022. Learn more at

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